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More Than Skin Deep - Awards Celebrate Better Bones

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Calling for nominations - Know someone who deserves a medal for showing us how to age with strength and vitality?

Osteoporosis affects half of New Zealand women and one in three New Zealand men over the age of 65. To try and turn these numbers around, Osteoporosis New Zealand is calling for nominations in this year's 'You Deserve a Medal' Awards. The awards encourage older people to stay physically active and prevent osteoporosis through developing stronger bones.

Nominations of active, inspirational and 'mature' friends and/or family members are sought.

"These awards are an opportunity to recognise people for their commitment to healthy, active living," says Jennifer Button, the chair of Osteoporosis New Zealand. "Past years' winners have been ordinary men and women, exemplifying the ideals of vitality, inspiration and strength. They are role models in their community to young and old with 'can do' attitudes and energetic lives."

The awards are presented annually during Osteoporosis Awareness Week (OAW) (October 18-25).

They will be hosted by the Associate Minister for ACC, Hon. Pansy Wong at Parliament on October 21st with invitations extended to vice-regal patrons Their Excellencies, The Honourable Sir Anand Satyanand, GNZM, QSO, and Lady Susan Satyanand, and bone ambassadors; current Olympic rowing gold medallists, Caroline Meyer and Georgina Earl.

The sponsors of this year's awards, including ACC and Pharmac, will each select a winner who embodies the 'can do - get up and at it' attitude the 'You Deserve a Medal' Awards are designed to recognise.

"Regular exercise slows bone loss, reducing the risk of osteoporosis. Being physically active is so important, particularly to maintain strong bones, so we see these awards as an important platform for encouraging this," says Jennifer.

"Our inspiring winners in 2009 had an average age of 91 years, with Robin from Dunedin still swimming on a daily basis and attending Tai Chi classes. At 97 Lillian from Auckland drives her own car, and is still enjoying indoor bowls, fitness classes and entertaining. Lyndsay lives in Russell, and having trained as a ballerina in her youth, she has taught yoga for many years.

"We want young and old to enjoy the benefits of regular physical activity, which range from an enhanced sense of wellbeing to preventing falls through improved balance and muscle strength," says Jennifer.

NOMINATIONS OPEN NOW 1. To make a nomination: - Download at www.bones.org.nz - Email info@bones.org.nz - Phone 04 499 4862 2. Send the completed form in by 17th of September

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